Traffic deaths in California have been on the rise in recent years, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Traffic collisions are a leading cause of death in the United States, and they are only getting worse. In this blog post, we will discuss why traffic deaths are on the rise, and what cities are doing to combat them. We will also provide some important information on what you should do if you find yourself in a traffic collision, as well as how you can avoid being in an accident altogether. These traffic deaths have devastating impacts on families and communities, so meaningfully addressing this issue is vital.
Federal estimates have shown that there were over 4,200 traffic fatalities in 2021 alone. This is a significant increase from the year before, which saw just over 4,000 traffic fatalities. Traffic collisions are now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 16-19. They are also the second leading cause of death for Americans aged 20-24. This is an epidemic that is only getting worse, so many California cities have begun trying to address it.
Reasons for the Rise of Traffic Deaths in California
There are many reasons why traffic deaths have been on the rise in California. One of the biggest factors is the increase in distracted driving. With more and more people using their phones while behind the wheel, it's no wonder that accidents are becoming more common. Another factor is the number of people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, 50% of all drivers killed in traffic collisions in 2019 tested positive for either legal or illegal drugs.
On a related note, the number of people who are driving without insurance has also been on the rise. This leaves victims of accidents without any recourse if they are injured by an uninsured driver.
What Cities are Doing to Combat Traffic Deaths
In order to combat the rise in traffic fatalities, cities across California have been implementing various initiatives. One of the most common is increasing the number of police officers on the roads. This has been shown to be effective in reducing speeding and aggressive driving. Other cities have implemented red-light cameras and speed cameras in an effort to deter dangerous driving behaviors. All three of the cities discussed below have implemented a program called Vision Zero, with the program focusing on the specific areas each city is struggling with the most.
San Francisco's Plan
In order to combat the rise in traffic fatalities, San Francisco has implemented a plan called the Vision Zero plan. Vision Zero aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2024, and utilizes a multi-faceted approach to reducing traffic fatalities that includes education, enforcement, and engineering. For example, as part of the education component, the city has launched a public awareness campaign about the dangers of distracted driving. They have also increased police enforcement of traffic laws and installed more red-light cameras throughout the city. They are also working to make their streets more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.
Los Angeles's Plan
Los Angeles is also working to combat the rise in traffic fatalities. Like San Francisco, they have implemented a Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2025. Their plan includes many of the same components as San Francisco's, such as education, enforcement, and engineering. They are also working on making their streets more safe for pedestrians and bicyclists. A major component of their efforts is centered around addressing so-called “high-injury network streets”, which are roads that make up only 6% of the city while accounting for 70% of all pedestrian deaths and injuries.
Leaders in these initiatives have said that the biggest cause of these streets being so dangerous is their width and lack of traffic lights and crosswalks. This, unfortunately, causes many people to speed on these roads, causing accidents.
San Diego's Plan
San Diego has also implemented a Vision Zero plan. Like Los Angeles, they are working on increasing the number of red-light cameras and speed cameras. They are also working to make their streets more safe for pedestrians and bicyclists. A program called “Slow Down, San Diego”, which is a public awareness campaign that aims to educate people about the dangers of speeding, has also been created. Lastly, they are working on a distracted driving campaign that will be launched later this year.
What You Can Do to Stay Safe of the Roadways of California
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
There are several things you can do to stay safe on the roads of California. First and foremost, you should always be aware of your surroundings. This means not only putting away your phone, but also being aware of what other drivers are doing. If you see someone driving erratically, give them a wide berth. Don't assume whether or not a driver sees your vehicle, especially at night. If you're ever in doubt, err on the side of caution and yield the right of way.
Obey Traffic Laws, Especially the Speed Limit
Another thing you can do to stay safe is to obey the speed limit. Speed limits are in place for a reason, that being because speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents. If you're in an accident and it's determined that you were speeding, you could be held liable. This means that you could be sued by the other driver, and you could also face criminal charges. To avoid this, always obey the speed limit.
You should also make sure that you are following all the rules of the road. This includes things like coming to a complete stop at stop signs, and yielding the right of way when appropriate.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Another important safety measure is to always wear your seatbelt. Seatbelts have been shown to save lives, and they can also help prevent injuries in the event of an accident.
Wrongful Death Car Accident Help
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, especially involving a death, it's important to seek legal help as soon as possible. Traffic fatalities are on the rise in California, and these accidents can have a devastating impact on families. The lawyers at Napolin Accident Injury Lawyer have experience handling these types of cases, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation at (866) 627-6546.
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